One more suspect was arrested yesterday by municipal police in collaboration with Kampong Thom provincial police over his involvement in beating and inciting others to beat university professor Suy Samreth in a mob attack that followed two hit-and-run accidents in the capital on Sunday.
Colonel Bun Satya, chief of the criminal investigation department in Phnom Penh, identified the suspect as An Phally, 31, who was living in Russey Keo district’s Chraing Chamres I commune.
He added the suspect was arrested in Kampong Thom province based on his photographs, which were obtained from surveillance cameras located near the site of the violence.
He was transferred to Phnom Penh following his arrest, he added.
“He was another person who actively beat the victim during the mob attack after the traffic accident,” Col Satya said. “After police identified him and found his address in Russey Keo district, he fled to hide in Kampong Thom province.”
The mob beating took place on Sunday afternoon at about 3pm in Tuol Kork district’s Toek La’ak II commune.
The professor was driving his car alone along National Road 5 in Russey Keo district on Sunday when he hit a motorbike and seriously injured its driver.
After the accident, Mr Samreth fled into the city but proceeded to crash into two more motorbikes near Depo Market in Tuol Kork district.
Angry motorists, who saw the accident, drove their motorbikes in pursuit of Mr Samreth and finally stopped him near Preah Kossamak Hospital in Toek La’ak III commune.
They proceeded to violently beat Mr Samreth, who now remains hospitalised in Vietnam.
Col Satya said three suspects have now been arrested for their involvement in beating Mr Samreth and destroying his car over a traffic accident in Phnom Penh.
They are all still being temporarily detained at municipal traffic police headquarters for questioning.
Two Daun Penh district security guards – Pheap Kimhak and Sok Ra – were arrested on Tuesday evening over their involvement in the attack.
However, Daun Penh District Hall released a statement saying the men were former district security guards.
Col Satya said the suspects were preliminarily accused by police with intentional acts of violence with aggravating circumstances and intentionally causing damage with aggravating circumstances. They will be sent to the municipal court for questioning today.
Colonel Tey Visal, deputy police chief of the criminal investigation department in Phnom Penh, said that according to an inspection of surveillance cameras, there were about 10 men who participated in the attack on Mr Samreth and destruction of his vehicle.
He added police had already identified them based on the surveillance camera footage and were working hard to bring them to justice.
Sareth Sophatidapich, the daughter of Mr Samreth, said yesterday that her father was now recovering.
She added her father’s health and injuries had improved but he was still being treated at a hospital in Vietnam.
On Monday, Mr Samreth’s defence lawyer Chhy Sambath filed a criminal lawsuit against the suspects to Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Mr Sambath demanded about $300,000 in compensation from the suspects for damages.
He also called on police to take strict action to investigate and arrest the offenders so they would be unable to commit such cruel acts against others in the future.